Written by Gail Simone
Pencils by Daniel Sampere
Inks by Jonathan Glapion
Colors by Blond
Published by DC Comics
Batgirl took a month off to do a tie-in for Zero Year, but after a brief hiatus, Gail Simone is back behind the wheel steering us towards the conclusion of her Wanted story arc. Babs is racing towards her father, Commissioner Gordon’s house in an effort to thwart an attempt made on his life by Knightfall and her gang. It’s a double edged sword though, as neither member of the Gordon family has much faith or trust in the other. Strap in folks, this issue is one hell of a ride.
What Gail Simone is doing with Batgirl is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in comics. Admittedly, I’ve never been the biggest fan of Barbara as Batgirl (I loved her as Oracle!) but I find myself genuinely interested and concerned for her corner of Gotham. In the Wanted arc, Ms. Simone has continued to weave a wicked tale of deception and drama between the three main players of the series; Batgirl, Barbara, and the Commissioner. Even with the relationships strained to the point of nearly breaking, father and daughter band together in the face of mortal danger in an effort to survive. I think the biggest payoff of the arc for me at least, was when Babs tried to show her father who she really is. Even after suspecting her of James Jr.’s murder, the Commissioner refuses to look because he knows among their many flaws, Gotham is safer with the Bat-family looming in the shadows. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the end of Death of the Family when Bruce tried to show the Joker who he was when Joker was imprisoned in Arkham; he also refused to look because he didn’t care. What matters in the end is the symbol of hope the Bat-family stands for no matter which side you’re on, good or bad. I’m not sure if this was intentional or not, but either way it was completely brilliant.
This issue was packed to the gills with action and everyone stepped their game up to another level to deliver on it. The page when Barbra jumps through Commissioner Gordon’s window with her motorcycle was absolutely incredible. Every panel is very neat and clean, but they show a real grittiness to Batgirl that I’ve never seen in any adaptation of her before now. While the thugs being dealt with in this book are really just hired guns, the power sets on display through the action sequences jump right off of the page and were really beautiful to look at. It really shows that each person on this book truly cares about delivering the absolute best story from cover to cover. Speaking of covers, the ones that were chosen for each issue of the Wanted arc were gorgeous!
Gail Simone and her creative team have given us something they should be really proud of. I’ve always thought of the ‘other’ Bat-family members as inferior to Bruce but this series has shown me quite the opposite. While I’ll never connect with any of them on the same level that I do Batman, each and every member of his family is great for their own reason. Barbara is a strong, intelligent young woman trying to carve out her own place in the world. Whether that be as Batgirl or just as Barbara, either is just as good! While the Wanted arc is now over, I can’t help but feel that Gail Simone is planning something much bigger with the big reveal at the end of the issue. I guess we won’t know until the next one comes out, but I’ll be there reading it. Proudly, I might add!
5 out of 5 nerds